There is such an incredible variety of delicious cocktail recipes out there, and many of these are actually really easy to follow. However, if you want your drinks to really stand out, and taste as though they have been created by a professional mixologist, these are some tips to keep in mind.
Understand the Golden Ratio
The majority of successful cocktails out there combine three main elements; alcohol, a sour element, such as lemon juice, and a sweet ingredient, such as a syrup. This is called the golden ratio, as putting these three different elements together create a beautiful tasting balance. The reason that this works is because of the way the sweet and sour ingredients play supporting roles, and will enhance the flavor of the alcohol, rather than hide it. By understanding the golden ratio, you will be able to put your own unique spin on the drinks that you make, which is something that all of the top mixologists do.
Have the Right Glassware
When it comes to cocktails, presentation is key, which is why it is important for you to have the right glassware for each cocktail that you make. While you can experiment with this quite a bit, there are three main types of glasses that you should have in your home bar. These are the old-fashioned, the martini and the highball, and you can adapt just about every cocktail out there to suit one of these three glasses.
Know How to Shake It
Any cocktail that contains non-spirit ingredients, such as egg whites or lemon juice, will need to be shaken, as this is the best way to ensure that all of the ingredients are perfectly combined. However, rather than just rattling the shaker over your shoulder and hoping for the best, there is a more professional technique that you can follow. Make sure that you are holding the cocktail shaker in your dominant hand, with your arm at a 90 degree angle. Shake it vigorously, making small circular motions at the same time, for about 20 seconds at a time, until all of the ingredients have been well-combined. Different ingredients take different amounts of time to mix together, and while some may only require 20 seconds, others, like a daiquiri, should be shaken until the exterior of the shaker is cold and frosty.
Know How to Stir It
Just like with shaking, there is a technique to stirring, and this should always be done with a cocktail that contains only alcohol. These cocktails tend to be all about clarity, which is why stirring is the perfect way to mix them, as shaking will only result in a foam. Use a bar spoon when stirring, holding this between your thumb and your first two fingers. Place this into a mixing glass filled with ice, and make small circles within the glass, allowing the bar spoon to rotate around itself. This will ensure that not only are the ingredients mixed together, but will also help to cool the drink down.
Many would consider mixology to be an art, meaning that it can take quite a bit of time and practice to master. However, by following the above tips, you will be able to create both classic and innovative cocktails, just like a pro.